I needed 23 more miles on the bike to get a nice round number for 2010. I also had some new socks to deliver. The distance was about right. The weather wasn't. Two out of three gets it.
I was headed in the vicinity of the SW corner of West Union and Cornelius Pass, coming in from the east and south. No problem, I'd do the standard westward route to Longbottom's, but turn north on Cornelius Pass and worry about turning left across it when I got to there (5 lanes, speeds well in excess of the posted limit).
A brief disheartening encounter at the corner of Park Way and Marlow. Someone (not me) did not fully learn the concept of right of way and taking turns at 4 way stops.
Onward west, through a very heavy and persistent rain. After passing the trail entrance on Evergreen, I thought - I could go under Hwy 26 on the path, and have a nice quiet neighborhood cruise and skip Cornelius Pass altogether (I'd just have to cross it at a light). Did I mention heavy and persistent rain? Most of the way along the path it was good, then the path just... vanished. To be replaced by class 5 rapids! :-( Turn around, go back, follow the original plan.
Arrived at my destination. Jeff opened the back door for me - best workplace bike parking ever. Hung up the bike, peeled off layers of wet clothing and hung THEM up. Gave Jeff a tour of Sweetpea - I've had it for several months now, but not a lot of folks have seen it in person. Mostly just randos and some Portland Velo folks :-)
Delivery accomplished, we settled down for some visiting before the boss had to get back to work.
I thought I'd try heading home north of Hwy 26, but didn't particularly want to ride on the major roads (West Union, Bethany, etc). You can't get there from here. The entire area bounded by NW West Union, NW 185th, NW 143rd, and Hwy 26 is a collection of subdivisions with winding rounds, cul de sacs, and exits only at busy, high-speed roads, with poor sight lines (NW 174th). So you CAN get there from here, but it gets a little confusing. I hadn't ridden that stretch for some time, and some roads were renamed (the northern terminus is NW 143rd is now NW Kaiser). Joy. Eventually found myself at the northern terminus of Murray Rd, and headed south over the highway to eventually cross Murray at Butner, at which point it was reasonably quiet roads all the way home.
(addendum 12/30) email exchange with Tualatin Hills Park and Rec reveals that in 2013 there will be a path from Somerset to Oak Hills through Spyglass Park/Crystal Creek Park, as part of the Waterhouse Trail extension. This will cut out the necessity of ending up on West Union. Of course, one will still have to cross Bethany, which, by that time will be 5 lanes/high speed :-(
At the corner of Laidlaw and West Union, I was surprised by a cyclist asking if I had planned to do the upcoming New Years 200k. (yes). Not someone I knew, and not a name I recognized, but he recognized the bike and Little Pink Bear :-)
Milestone accomplished - 4400 miles for 2010. Most ever!